Touchline Talk

Rathfriland Rangers begin pre-season training.
Rathfriland Rangers begin pre-season training.

PRE SEASON CONTINUES FOR RANGERS - A home fixture against Rostrevor tonight (Wednesday, 7pm) is followed by a long trip south of the border to Carlow Town this Saturday August 4 (4pm) the penultimate game before a final home fixture against Brian Adair`s former employers’ Loughgall the following Monday, August 6 (7pm).

Swifts Pre Season - Rathfriland Swifts, who play in the Reserve Championship, continue a series of games that will see them prepare for their second season in the Mid Ulster´s new league. The glamour friendly has to be the fixture against Portadown Reserves this Saturday August 4.

All matches are home fixture and are as follows: Saturday August 4 - Portadown Reserves; Monday August 6 - Loughgall Reserves; Saturday August 11 – Queen’s. 
Saturday fixtures will be 2pm kick offs and the Monday fixture at 7pm - why not come along and spectate at what is an impressive pre season warm up campaign.

NEW SEASON ABOUT TO GET UNDERWAY - The new 2012 / 13 season is about to get under way with a feast of football at Iveagh and Ingram Park. Yes the fixtures are out so why not start filling your diaries with these dates!

RATHFRILAND RANGERS FIXTURES FOR START OF SEASON (AMATEUR LEAGUE): Saturday August 11 (League) – away to Downshire YM; Tuesday August 14 (league) – home to Newcastle; Saturday August 18 – Fixture TBC; Tuesday August 21 (league) – Away to Ballynahinch; Saturday August 25 (Border Cup) – away to Shorts; Thursday August 30 (league) – home to Saintfield

RATHFRILAND SWIFTS FIXTURES FOR START OF SEASON (RESERVE CHAMPIONSHIP): Saturday August 18 (Marshall Cup) – Swifts V Glenavy; Saturday August 25 – No fixture; Saturday September 1 (Marshall Cup) – Tullygalley or Donacloney V Swifts or Glenavy; Saturday September 8 – Fixture TBC

RATHFRILAND SWIFTS RESERVES FIXTURES FOR START OF SEASON (RESERVE DIVISION 4): Saturday August 25 – Swifts Reserves V Red Star Reserves; Tuesday August 28 – Damolly Reserves V Swifts Reserves (6.30pm k.o.); Saturday September 1 – Swifts Reserves V Armagh Blues Reserves; Saturday September 8 – O’Hara Cup – Fixture TBC.

COMMITTEE MEETING - The August committee meeting will take place at the clubrooms on Tuesday August 21 at 7pm. Please note the new earlier start time.

RANGERS PRE SEASON FRIENDLIES - DONACLONEY 1 RATHFRILAND RANGERS 10

Rathfriland Rangers continued their pre season warm up with an away fixture at Tannaghmore Gardens which Rathfriland won 10–1.

The home side actually opened the scoring on the 10 minute mark but a goal each by Walsh, Jess and Beck seen the visitors go in 3–1 ahead at the break.

A very impressive second half performance saw further goals for Jess and Walsh, a further two to give Beck a hat trick, two for Ally Wilson and one for Scott Ward.

Overall this was a very good workout and a particularly pleasing second half performance from The Whites.

ARDS RANGERS 3 RATHFRILAND RANGERS 4

Rathfriland Rangers travelled to last season`s Amateur League Premier League Champions Ards Rangers and despite dominating the first half went in at the break 3 – 1 down, with new signing Decky McAllister getting the goal. Further goals from Wilson, Beck and Jess saw Rathfriland deservedly come back to win the game 4–3 against a very good side in Ards Rangers.

BRILLIANT CROWD - Great to see the big crowds from the local community continue at Iveagh Park at the recent Rangers V Warrenpoint match on Thursday night last.

CONGRATULATIONS! - Congratulations to Rathfriland Rangers player Glenn Waddell and his bride Nicola who got married on Friday past. Make sure you come back refreshed!

GET WELL SOON! - Good to see Eric Mulhall back at the club at a recent match after a stay in hospital. Good to see you Eric and best wishes from all the players and officials at the club.

KYLER BACK AND AT IT AND ON FIRE! - Good to see Kyle Heslip back playing after limited availability due to work comittements with the Fire Service – Kyler scored two for the Reserves against Kilkeel last Thursday evening with Keith Megaw getting the other.

SENTRY DUTY – Tuesday July 31 (changed to Wednesday 1) – Trevor W, Junior; Saturday August 4 – Mark I, Lindsay; Tuesday August 7 (changed to Monday August 6) – Gary W, Rodney, Brian T

MEMBERSHIP - Could everyone be reminded that with the new season getting underway that the 2012/13 membership fees are now due - £30 employed, £15 Students, Unemployed, Senior Citizens.

FRIENDLY - Rathfriland Swifts 2-0 Gilford Crusaders
Rathfriland hosted Gilford Crusaders in their third pre-season friendly on Saturday past and were happy to claim their second win on the spin. Coming off the back of a convincing display against Kilkeel in which an improved performance saw the swifts win 3-1, again the swifts raised their game another level which will please the management team. 
The match started with Mid Ulster First Division side Gilford having the better of the opening exchanges. However after 20 minutes the Swifts started to find their feet. The midfield four of Megaw, Gibbons, Gilmore and Toal worked tirelessly to pressure the Gilford side and protect the back four of Murray, Johnston, McComish and McConville.  

Gilford never really created any clear cut chances and it was Rathfriland who were forcing the opposition keeper into a number of saves when K. Megaw linked well with Heslip for the latter to fire into the keeper’s legs. The half ended all square.

The second half started brightly for the Swifts and inside five minutes Rathfriland broke from the left back position with the ball neatly played through midfield. Hollingsworth, who had replaced Heslip at half time, expertly played in Toal who advanced goalwards and cooly slotted past the onrushing keeper.

Rathfriland continued to dominate and create chances and were unlucky not to increase their lead when Megaw squared for Hollingsworth when surely he should have taken the chance himself.

The Swifts continued to make changes to their side and finished strongly with Conan Power spotting the Gilford keeper outside his box and expertly lobbing him from the near the halfway line to make the score 2-0.

The Swifts management will be pleased with the workrate of their whole squad and hope to continue to improve in the lead up to the season opener on August 18 against Glenavy. 
Team: Curran, Murray, Johnston, McComish, McConville, Gilmore, Gibbons, A.Megaw (c), Toal, K.Megaw, Heslip, Hollingsworth, Scott, Power, Johnston, Mark, Scott